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SAN JOSE –- John Scott won’t play on defense on Saturday when the Sharks host his former team, the Buffalo Sabres.
But, could he in the future?
Todd McLellan didn’t rule it out, after the 6-foot-8, 260-pound giant skated in Friday’s practice as a rearguard.
“I don’t know where that’s going. He played on the back end in the past, he’s a big body that takes up a lot of space around the net,” McLellan said. “I’m sure he’d play with some authority in and around there.
“There is an option there for us, and I know that he’s comfortable doing that. That’s more his home position than even as a forward. He broke into the league doing that. It’s an option that might happen later on. We won’t see that [Saturday].”
Scott played defense for Michigan Tech in college, and started his NHL career as a blueliner for Minnesota before the Chicago Blackhawks started using him as a forward during his two seasons there from 2010-12.
The Sharks’ defense group has struggled, as McLellan has shuffled guys in and out of the lineup. Lately, 19-year-old rookie Mirco Mueller has sat out the last two games, after showing signs he may not be ready for the NHL. Matt Irwin, Jason Demers and Scott Hannan have all taken turns as a healthy scratch, while Brent Burns' transition back to the blue line is an ongoing project.
Even Justin Braun has had some difficult moments, including the game-winning goal against Boston when he and Marc-Edouard Vlasic couldn’t connect on a pass behind the net leading to Gregory Campbell’s goal, and Thursday night against Columbus when Ryan Johansen went around him before lifting in the Jackets’ first marker.